It's not that I don't appreciate this part of the country. In fact, I do. The people here are so nice. I am going to charge them the cost of Weight Watchers when my husband returns to Kansas City in 6 weeks, though. They seem insistent on feeding him. Some of the locals are baking pies and cookies for him to take to his hotel. As neither of those items appear on the menu at our house, he had better make the best of it while he can.
So...as far as this trip, I did go to the National Homestead Monument outside of Beatrice, Nebraska for the 150th anniversary of the signing of the Homestead Act. Abraham Lincoln signed the act into law on May 20th 1862.
The key points to this act:
Here on the site of the National Homestead Monument is part of the first homestead claim filed in America.by Daniel Freeman, a physician from Ottawa, Illinois. He claimed his 160 acres and full filled the requirements to get title to the land. He lived 45 years on the property before his death. His grave is on the site of the monument.
A few of the facts concerning the Homestead Act:
1. More than 270 Million acres were claimed under the Homestead Act.
2. 1.6 Million people filed claims
3. 93 Million Americans are descendants of a Homesteader
4. 40 percent of the people that filed claims couldn't make a go of it and weren't able to meet the requirements to gain title to their property.
5. The Homestead Act was in effect from 1863-1986. Alaska was the last state to allow people to claim land under the Act. The last man to file a claim was Kenneth Deardorff, a Viet Nam vet from California that filed a claim for 80 acres on the Snake River in Alaska.
Here in Beatrice, NE, the actual Homestead Museum isn't what I would have thought a museum about the Homestead Act would look like. I guess, it wouldn't of made sense to build a huge log hut but this felt uber modern compared to the subject matter being about America's pioneers. It wasn't until after I visited the museum that I learned that the building is an artistic representation of a plow...well actually a plow shear.
|a plow in the center of a prairie|
|going into the visitor's center there is a wall with the shapes |
of the 30 states that participated in the Homestead Act.
|One of the longest running one-room schools in Nebraska.|
|After leaving the Museum, you can go over a prairie trail (just a little over 3/4 of |
a mile to the Educational Center.
|The Homestead National Monument Educational Center|
Before I sign off for today...I am sorry for the early launch of this post. As previously mentioned the last time I was in Nebraska, I am struggling with my Internet connection.